For many seniors, downsizing makes life a lot less complicated. Choosing to downsize before it becomes a necessity due to health or mobility issues can save you headaches, heartaches and a lot of money.
According to the Kenan Institute, nearly half of all single and married people 65 and older have lived in their current home for more than 20 years. Seniors choose to downsize for a lot of reasons. An empty nest can make your home seem too big, and having more rooms than you need means spending more time than you’d like on cleaning and maintenance. Yard work can become a struggle as you get older, and many retirees prefer downsizing to save money and time that can be better spent golfing or traveling.
Whether you’re looking to downsize to save money, attend to your health, reduce your maintenance workload or enjoy a simpler life, here are five ways we can help your downsizing adventure run smoothly.
Assess Your Needs
The first step in downsizing is deciding what your needs are and compiling a list of the features you want in a smaller home.
How much space do you need?
Do you need an accessible dwelling?
Do you want to live in the heart of Austin?
Do you want to live near your children, your doctor, a favorite park or public transportation?
You should consider your current abilities when deciding what type of home to purchase. Single-story homes with open spaces are much easier for seniors with mobility challenges to navigate, and condos remove the need for maintenance and yard work leaving you with more time for activities and relaxation.
We can help you evaluate your current home and decide how much smaller you want or need to go. We can also walk you through the pros and cons of single-family homes, condos and even tiny houses and help you narrow down the choices.
Based on your health, mobility and care needs, you may want to look for senior living communities, including retirement communities, independent living homes and assisted living facilities in Austin. The available choices should meet your needs and preferences, from services and amenities to location and atmosphere.
Assess the Local Real Estate Market
According to the Statesman, Austin’s housing market has a bright outlook through 2019. The median home price in the area is currently $319,000, up 66 percent from 2008 prices. Empty-nest seniors with larger homes are in a perfect position to take advantage of the market by selling high and reinvesting some of the proceeds in a smaller, more suitable home.
Prepare Your Home for Sale
There’s a long list of things to take care of before you put your home on the market, and we know the ins and outs of preparing to sell. From appraisals, inspections, updates, and repairs to staging and sprucing up your curb appeal, we’ll give you important advice and tips on maximizing profits while minimizing the amount of work and money you need to put into your existing home to ensure a profitable sale. Some seniors are no longer able to handle many of these tasks, and we're happy to point you in the direction of reliable and reputable inspectors and contractors.
Finding the Perfect Location
Armed with a list of your needs and wants, your house-hunting adventure begins. There’s a lot to consider, including your budget, preferences and ideal timeline.
For seniors who enjoy spending time in downtown Austin, neighborhoods like Clarksville, close to the city's busy epicenter, may fit the bill. Located just a mile and a half west of downtown, Clarksville features cozy bungalows, vintage ranches and a smattering of condos. Its rich history and easy access to galleries, restaurants, music venues and parks appeal to many of Austin's active seniors.
Some seniors prefer things a little quieter, such as the cozy homes in outlying areas, such as Buda, located 15 miles south of downtown. Homes here are more affordable, and the rolling Hill Country scenery and tight-knit community give it a small-town vibe.
You may find the right place right off the bat, or it may take a little time. No matter how long it takes, we’ll be there to coordinate viewings and help you evaluate the suitability of each option, make the best offers and negotiate the best terms. Downsizing is a big undertaking, but once you're settled in and enjoying your new home, you’ll be glad you did it sooner rather than later.
Guest Article written by Jacquline at Seniorhomes.com